TTF Press Release 10th September 2020

Press Release from the newly-formed
All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams

This week has seen the establishment of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams, set up to help deal with what has become a major public concern. It is being led by Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East. Bob Blackman comments that:

“At a time when personal and financial vulnerability is high, attention to the threats to our pensions is welcome and I am pleased to have been elected as Chair of this important All Party Parliamentary Group. I have long been concerned about the approaches of offshore advisers and I believe that this should be the particular focus of the APPG.

The tightening of regulations in the UK, especially over the transfer of rights from defined benefits pensions has had the usual waterbed effect with the problem shifting to offshore fraud hotspots such as Dubai, Spain, Gibraltar and South Africa and I look forward to the APPG being a place to give scam victims a representative collective voice.”

The three other Officers elected into their APPG roles this week as Vice Chairs are:

  • Rob Roberts – Conservative MP for Delyn, who brings particularly valuable insight and experience through having been a successful financial planner for many years;
  • Lord Kirkhope – a lawyer and formerly European Conservatives Spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs;
  • Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, a part of Wales hit very hard by pension scammers who targeted British Steel workers. Nick Smith states:

“Too many people have lost out to pension scams and rogue advisers. The systems in place to protect and advise them are inadequate. My aim is to see better help available, simpler complaints procedures in place and stronger, faster action taken against those responsible.”

Importantly, the new APPG is viewed positively by Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham and Chair of the influential Work and Pensions Select Committee, who comments:

“I welcome the launch of the new APPG on Pension Scams, just as the Select Committee inquiry on Pension Scams is starting.  The Group will help to focus attention across Parliament on a topic that has rightly become a major public concern.”

One of the APPG’s first tasks is to formalise its Purpose Statement. That’s an advanced work-in-progress already – the draft is:

“To be a forum through which Parliamentarians and other stakeholders can work together to better protect the public from the perils of pension scams and secondary scammers; give scam victims a representative collective voice; signpost victims to support; and facilitate the development of preventative and supportive policy initiatives.”

The new APPG is gaining widespread support from many stakeholders, including pensions industry professionals and pension scam victims; some of whom have volunteered to be part of the APPG’s Secretariat Committee. More volunteers are wanted.

– Ends; notes to Editors below – 

– For further information on the Work and Pensions Select Committees inquiry into Pension Scams, the first evidence session for which takes place on the morning of Wednesday 16th September, see here . The Select Committee’s Press Officer is Oliver Florence who can be reached through here / 020 72 191679 

– The initial point of contact regarding the APPG on Pension Scams is Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force who is one of the volunteers involved with the APPG’s Secretariat: Click here. Andy is also a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, which recently published: How have scams evolved since the introduction of pension freedoms